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PTA Board Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes: 2/7/23

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

Februrary 7th, 2023

7:00pm in Whittier Library
Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022
Passcode: wildcats


  • Leah Lansberry Austin- President
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Kellie Pecoraro – Adviser/Support
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Kate Scher – Communications Chair
  • Renee Hartnett – Treasurer
  • Cindy Waters – Principal
  • Ashley Schiavone
  • Lauren Carey- EDI Committee Member
  • Sara Lukas
  • Kathleen Donahoe- Hospitality
  • Emily Grosse
  • Emily Barbee
  • Melissa O’Keefe

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:15 PM

Approval of January Board Minutes

Renee Hartnett motioned to approve and Kate Scher seconded 

Nominating Committee

There are still a few positions open.  Family game night, Konstella, and work directly with Cindy to identify parents who are already involved who can become more involved. 

VP or Co-President, events, outreach, volunteer, EDI, legislative rep and membership. 

Non-board roles:  Wildchat editor, Spring Fling Chairs, Move-a-thon, Spirit gear, student directory, yearbook



It’s not going to be great.  Cindy has been advocating on our enrollment projections and trying to keep our budget numbers up.  


  • Put in a funding request for some microphones to get a couple of lapel microphones and 2 new handheld microphones.  $12,000.
    • -Mrs. Steph often rents for the spring play.  
  • We’re in Black Lives Matter week of action.  Trying to meet kids developmentally where they are.  It’s going really well.  Helping kids to be thoughtful citizens and promote civic engagement.  
  • Going to do Prides of March. Partnering with a church up in Broadview to do a food drive and gift cards to stock the pantry.  Cindy will get us information on this next week.  Focus is hyperlocal and tangible.  Curriculum will teach about community investments and service.  
  • The fundraiser for Ms. Jo raised over $5000 for the Ballard Food Bank.
    • There is a wednesday or thursday pickup- about 15 bags for families in the Whittier Community. 
  • Leadership group has selected 4 spirit days in March.  Wacky hat and sock day, twin day, famous person or book character day. 
  • Outreach to Ballard HighSchool and Ingraham that have pantries for students who live independently and are home insecure.  Food and supplies
  • Is there going to be a Massive Monkey’s performance (Kate)?  Yes, in March. 
  • What is happening with the merging of the Special Education Services.
    • They want more schools to serve the kids in their neighborhood.  Have kids spend as much time in the gen ed settings as possible to meet their learning needs.  This is already done at Whittier and Cindy thinks there will be less of a change than other schools.  Though we’re not an SEL school, we still serve those students.  The way we serve kids is the service model the district wants all schools to go to.  
    • It’s unclear if kids will still be bussed to Whittier.  
    • Cindy would love a full time social worker
    • The state only funds for 13% of each school’s kids to be special needs.  Typically the need is greater than this.  
    • Universal design learning can’t be scaled to all 106 schools in the district.  
    • Budget will be released Feb 28th.  
    • How are the teacher’s feeling right now?  They’re tired and stressed but Cindy tries to keep this away from them.  
    • Will there be an adjustment from the current ask?  Potentially.  

Vote on the fundraising proposal

Kelly moves to approve and Sara Seconded 


Treasurer’s Report

$201k in the bank

10 kids who got to go to the sensory friendly night at Wild Lanterns

Update on Fall fundraiser/ annual give $72,000 of a $75,000 goal 

The jog-a-thon is tracking at over budget as well

Budget committee:  if you know anyone who is interested, have them join.  Will get started the week after mid-winter break.  It will be between 3-6 hours of time commitment.  

Be thinking about how this is our money and we can choose what we do with it.  What programs do you hear about that you want to see at Whittier? 

Potentially bring back a comment/ idea form or use room parents to ask for ideas.

Renee will send out a budget survey shortly.    

Chair Reports


  • The Family Game and Dance night is March 3rd.  Michelle and Meg are chairing this event.  Sending out a Sign Up Genius for food.  Looking for an MC or may use Spotify.  Will have a PTA table at the event for Spring Fling and volunteers for next year.   
  • Spring Fling tickets go on sale March 1st.  Meeting this Thursday.  Date is May 20th.  Committee was unanimous about having the event at a different location.  Will be casual.  Renee drafted up the landing page and Courtney will review.
    • Highway to the Wildcat Zone
    • Classroom Buckets, wine wall, silent auction, classroom art
    • Want a strong MC


  • Budget survey- could we share funds with another organization as a teaching moment for our kids?  Maybe a food bank or homeless shelter.  There are some challenges with non-profits giving to other non-profits.  Missing the communication about what we’ve done.  Report out.  
  • Like the idea of us giving back to the community and teaching our kids about that.  
  • Add Impact page on the PTA website- Lauren will take on data collection.  
  • Could we ask folks to volunteer to run these small events
  • EDI is working on affinity groups and building those small communities within the larger community
    • We need folks to lead these groups and the groups can be whatever they want to be
    • Still doing the buddy bench in the Wildchat
    • Trying to get the special ed classes more included in the school
    • On that note, for the first time we’re doing sped room classroom art and classroom buckets
    • Also trying to collaborate on the school’s race and equity team.  Their main focus is the Rebellious Read Allowed program on different topics like Identity, food, culture, etc.  The books come with questions to prompt conversations.  The Race and Equity Team wants to bring the Author Rebellious Read Allowed to the school but it’s really expensive.  May try to split with another school


  • Regular cadence of every other week between Fun Fridays and Teacher Lounge stocking
  • Valentines for the beginning of Feb
  • PTA is funding lunch for all staff from Ban Town (Emily Coordinating)
  • Family Dance and Game Night
  • Cereal Bar for Staff (First Grade Families
  • May is a big staff appreciation week.  There’s a theme, etc.  The next meeting we will need to have time on the agenda to do some planning in this regard.  Will likely do the flower event this year as well. 
  • We have our snacks at in person meetings


  • Wildchat is next week.  Send Content.  
  • As a group we need to talk about we have 27 volunteers we are asking for between next year and Spring Fling and we need to understand our capacity.
    • Family Game Night could have a physical poster and celebrate when folks sign up.  
    • We got 10-12 new folks for Spring Fling
    • Celebrate how we’re being involved. 
  • Classroom rep head position could be really valuable.  Invite them to the next meeting. 
  • Communications position is not sustainable- too much work and skill.  We may want to talk about how we restructure the role.  
  • Back in the day there was only the Wildchat so parents knew where they had to look.  Part of the messaging is lost because of multiple avenues.  We need to reimagine.  
  • What if we had a PTA table at drop off every week?  
  • Everybody needs to submit their stuff.  


  • Auditions for the musical were Monday and Tuesday this week and rehearsals start next week. 
  • Both Gamer group and language are full
  • More choices for spring session
  • need a few more volunteers for winter session


3/14 PTA 

3/21 Community PTA meeting

Meeting Adjourned 9:23 pm

Lauren Motioned to adjourn

 Melissa seconded 

Board Meeting Minutes: 1/10/23

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

January 10, 2023

7:00pm via ZOOM
Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022
Passcode: wildcats


  • Leah Lansberry Austin- President
  • Tina Lilley – Adviser/Support/Spirit Gear/Website
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Jared Cortese – Co Secretary
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Mendy Minjarez – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Kate Scher – Communications Chair
  • Cindy Waters – Principal
  • Megan Wildenrandt – Advocacy
  • Emily Grosse – Hospitality and Events
  • Kellie Pecoraro – Member at large
  • Tricia Schalekamp – Membership Chair
  • Natalie Gromoff
  • Kathleen Donahoe
  • Lauren Carey
  • Tania 



Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:03 PM


  • No vote this week. Meeting minutes from the December Board meeting will be voted on next month. 



  • Tina Lilley is in charge, she hasn’t decided if she is going to include student volunteers.  Just getting things started.
  • Family directory – Do we need volunteers? Add volunteers for this to the nom com roster, possible get set up for Fall 2023
  • March Food Drive – Not PTA driven anymore. Prides of March has taken place, Cindy with Leadership Kids. They are going to work with the food pantry in Broadview, and another organization. Leadership kids are going to be in charge of it. 

PRINCIPAL UPDATE – (Questions for Cindy) 


  • Tina will let Cindy know what help she needs. Currently can’t upload photos, Tina will help with that. Cindy says kids can be involved in the yearbook. Target something with the kids, not all of it. “Day in the life of a Wildcat.” Give kids cameras and have them take pictures every 30 minutes. Every kid represented, parents can upload photos, and Tina will decide if they are appropriate. 

Leadership kids 

  • Meeting once a week with Ms. Paul. Letting the kids lead. Planning a dress up day for the end of the month. Announcements for Martin Luther King Day. Theater group led by Ms. Rebecca, do a skit every month about our virtue of the month. Performed at lunch. Build out opportunities for kids to say “I want to” and then build the runway. Cindy is going to try and get more engagement and build out some more structures. 

The School

  • Budget is looking challenging this year. Cindy is getting the budget ready for the Community Meeting next Tuesday. Cindy is trying to get our reading specialist funded so she can ask the PTA for more. Cindy is working on advocacy to try and petition the district to figure out the floor of what every school needs. Nurse, Reading Specialist, Librarian, Social Worker, Recess Monitors. The PTA can help by elevating this conversation through advocacy with the city and state. What is the minimum that a school needs to run? Cindy doesn’t think we have the minimum to run a school. 


  • Break out in 2nd grade. Send kids to school with masks, not mandatory. Quarantine is still 5 days. Kids were given cleaning supplies to clean their desks today.


  • We need to have people come to our school. Cindy needs help to do a promotional video for Whittier for the website. The sooner students enroll in Whittier, it helps Cindy’s budget. Better to enroll now than in June. Students who apply for school of choice, there’s a good shot! 

Is there anything you (Cindy)  need from the PTA?

  • Advocacy, talking to the school board about carving out a minimum. We are one of the lowest funded schools. Ask the district to think creatively. One position Cindy doesn’t want to lose next year is Ms. Katie, utility role. That position gives the school a little more nimbleness. Rather have Ms. Katie then a Vice Principal. She would prefer to not have a volunteer for recess. Gives kids permission to take more risks, rather than having parent volunteers.  
  • Good people to reach out to locally:

Lisa Rivera Smith – The School Board Member from our district

Legislative reps depending on where you live

  • Good people to reach out to on the federal level

Pramila Jayapal 

Patty Murray

Maria Cantwell 

New Food Specialist

  • Ms. Joe found her replacement, Ms. Laura.


  • Wait to hear for Renee next week at the Community meeting. She will be conducting a budget survey.  


  • Thank you to everyone who has filled out the survey
  • Mendy is facilitating a meeting next week to figure out new recruitment methods. Cindy’s email would be an effective way to reach beyond current members’ friend groups. 
  • Mendy needs to know who wants to continue in their roles or switching roles so we know who we are recruiting for. 
  • Mendy needs the descriptions of each role. Where is the document describing everyone’s role.

Went through all positions currently filled. 

  • Nom com should fill major roles, then within the committee they can recruit for other roles.  
  • Once Mendy gets the room reps family lists, she can come up with a strategy. Do we need a coordinator for Room Reps? Mendy says no, it’s not a hard job traditionally and the Volunteer Coordinator can do the role. 


 Black Lives Matter Week

  • Emily Barbee is working on it, and there will be more info next week. 
  • Susan and Melissa stepped down from EDI chairs. Melissa is still going to be on the committee. 


  • Notes from Emily –  Black Lives Matter Week. Buddy Bench section in Wildchat to keep everyone engaged on what’s going on with EDI. Affinity groups, Megan will be sending out a link to a survey. No shortage of things to advocate for especially at the State Level. Why is funding done this way, and what can we do as a PTA?


Spring Fling 

  • 1st meeting next Wednesday, meetings scheduled out until Spring Fling, May 20th
  • Deciding whether or not they are going to do the block party. Only concern is the weather so might book a venue. 
  • Top Gun Theme


  • Up to 129 members, right in line where we were last year. Lower than precovid times when we used the paper form, or signed people up at a library. 
  • Add a form to sign up as a part of the packet the school sends out in the beginning of the year


  • Fun Friday went really well
  • 3rd Thursday is staff appreciation. Stock the lounge. This is the 2nd grade month to stock the staff lounge, but might need help because of COVID outbreak
  • Valentines Day events


Still working on it. Might need volunteers. Still hoping for a February 1st starting date. 


Budget survey next week at the community meeting


If you are going to be leaving your role, please find a replacement. 

Meeting Adjourned 8:19  pm

Board Meeting Minutes: 12/13/22

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

December 13, 2022

7:00 pm via ZOOM
Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022
Passcode: wildcats


  • Leah Lansberry Austin- President
  • Tina Lilley – Adviser/Support/Spirit Gear/Website
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Mendy Minjarez – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Lauren Carey – EDI co chair
  • Megan Wildenrandt – Advocacy 
  • Emily Grosse – Hospitality and Events
  • Kellie Pecoraro – 
  • Tricia Schalekamp – Membership Chair


Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 8:12 PM


Vote for September, October, November Meeting Minutes


Meeting Adjourned 8:13  pm

Board Meeting Minutes: 11/8/22

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

November 8, 2022

  • 7:00pm via ZOOM
  • Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022
  • Passcode: wildcats


  • Leah Lansberry Austin- President
  • Kathleen Donahoe
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Emily Grosse – Hospitality and Events
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Tina Lilley – Adviser/Support/Spirit Gear/Website
  • Mendy Minjarez – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Glenda Elley – Fundraiser Co-Chair
  • Cindy Waters – Principal
  • Lauren Carey- EDI co chair
  • Emily Barbee Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Susan Hernandez, EDI Co-chair
  • Melissa O’Keefe, EDI Co-chair
  • Sarah Lukas
  • Tricia- Membership
  • Tribly- Reading Specialist
  • Sarah Newcombe- Librarian
  • Ashley Schiavone
  • Renee Hartnett- Treasurer


  • Meena Lenn
  • Kiana Swearingen
  • Nichole Miman Waterman
  • Ashley Sullivan

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:05 PM



Took a moment to acknowledge this was a hard day for Seattle Public Schools.  Sending solace to Ingraham community and all of those affected.    

School update- we are doing great.  We’ve hit our stride and kids are stretching themselves and have good curiosity.  Kindergartners settled in and many other fantastic things happening.  

Loved the fall festival.  Thank you to Jess Tz for organizing.

Postponed the gratitude assembly because Ms. Steph is out and will get that rescheduled.  

Ms. Trilby & Sarah Update: 

Book Fair- Literacy Night.  There will be folks reading aloud on the stage, a number of crafts, teachers there,  and parents will be shopping upstairs for the book fair with Phinney Books.  December 1st.  

Need 4-5 parent volunteers to help unpack.  As soon as school is out the book fair starts and literacy night begins at 5:30- 7:30.  They will also have teacher wishlists so parents can purchase books for classrooms.   

Emily Grosse will be helping with the crafts and contact her with questions.  Shout out to the teachers to spend a bit of extra time after hours reading with 

Ms. Jo has self published a few books and will be in attendance as well and may read one of her books.

Questions for Cindy: 

Chocolate Milk: Sara L. asking about chocolate milk being served at breakfast per Culinary services requirement.   Ms. Jo does not want to serve Chocolate milk at breakfast because there is too much sugar and culinary services is taking some disciplinary action against her.  There is information in the Wildchat for how to support Ms. Jo.  

Tricia wrote in and received a disappointing response from culinary services.  

Cindy supports Jo and has deep regard for her integrity.  Proud she’s a part of whittier- she has a passion for food justice and access to healthy foods.  

Assistant Principal & Counselor: Tina asked if there are any updates on an assistant principal.  Cindy said we’re not going to get one regardless of if we step in or not.  SPS has no money to implement.  It makes things bumpy and rocky but there should be a conversation about what is the minimum needed to run a school.  If Cindy had a full time counselor, a AP would be less necessary.   

We do need to have interventionists budgeted and PTA needs to pay for it.  Funding allocation for the next school year comes out in February.  Advocate for minimum of what schools should have.   

At Whittier PTA pays for art and reading interventionist

Discretionary dollars is $40k which is about as much as we need for basic supplies.  

We have Lauren, the counselor, 5 days a week in the morning from 7:30-10:45 and every other Wednesday she’s here all day.  

How do kid’s utilize her?  She’s going into classrooms and taking on big feelings days and working with families.  She’s doing a lot.  She rarely sits down.  Her professional background is mostly as a social worker in a healthcare setting.  



Don’t have NOM COM updates because Mendy isn’t sure what she’s supposed to be doing.  

Leah will walk Mendy through what to do.  In general, the task is to find out who from this year wants to fill a position for next year.   Will make sure practices for reaching out are as equitable as possible.   

Need a better way to get and keep a parent directory. For next year we should come up with some language for room reps to get emails for class.  There could be something at Back to business or curriculum night.  

Room reps are a really good entry point into involvement.  

Could have a meeting over the summer to discuss what we should send to room reps.  Sara Lukas is happy to spearhead that.   

Kidmail folder paper to add contact info.- Jess and Ashley to create.     

December 13th Meeting:  in person or zoom?  Folks are interested in- in person. Jess Templeton to host


Members at Large

I Sara Lukas, move to approve  Kellie Pecoraro and Tina Lilley to serve on the PTA Board as members at large.

Courtney seconded. 



Due this Thursday.  Must include a digital record of the art piece as well.  Not many submissions yet


October budget report  

Current balance $201,084 

Annual Give $37k

Jogathon $21k

Expenses of note:  Insurance, Tap Root Theatre assembly, supplies purchased for the school over the summer.  


Annual Give Update: 

Extending to 11/14 and trying to get to $90k.  Currently at $75k

Will announce the seahawk ticket winners next week.  

Is it a big concern if we don’t make our goal now? (Courtney)  In the last few years we’ve been eating away at our reserve where expenses are outweighing fundraising.  

Ultimately we need to decide what we want to fund next year.  We don’t typically poll the community about where they want to see their dollars go until after the holidays.  


Advocacy- Emily Barbee

First, in light of what happened at Ingraham we want gun legislation advocacy to have a renewed focus at Whittier.  Invite Everytown to come and talk to our PTA and give an information session.  Tricia will spearhead and get a date on the calendar aligned with one of our regularly scheduled meetings.  Will aim for January.  

If anyone has other organizations to highlight let Emily and Tricia know.  

The Washington State PTA voted on their top 5 legislative priorities

  1. Addressing student mental heatlh crisis
  2. Addressing critical gaps in education funding
  3. Reducing gun violence
  4. Special education and support
  5. Maintaining safer schools

Renee asked what the action items are beyond advocacy.  Emily will try to find out more.

Some PTAs donate $ to organizations which support these efforts.  

Mendy asked if we’re allowed to lobby with legislators as the PTA.    

Next month advocacy would like to talk about equity and fundraising.  

Advocacy postcard at literacy night?  Great idea.  Emily will implement

Communications- Kate

Kate is traveling. 

EDI- Susan

At the last EDI meeting members created a two year plan to track progress.  Strategies:  

Whittier is committed to being an anti-racist school

All families are able to be their authentic self

All families be able to know the system well enough to advocate for themselves

More to come at the next meeting.  

They will talk to Kate about getting it up on the website and in the Wildchat. 

Events- Courtney

Thanks to Tina, Jess Tzs and Laura for leading the fall festival. 

Next is ice skating later in November.  If we get more that 40 kids to show up will be $11 per kid.  

1:30-2:30 on Tuesday the 22nd.  Will firm up what it covers and communicate to kids. 

Literacy Night Dec 1st

March- First fun Friday will be a family dance game night chaired by Michelle and Meg.  

May- Spring Fling 

Hospitality- Kathleen and Emily

First fun Fridays- gratitude and chalk

Will be on the blacktop this year

Third Thursdays- October staff appreciation breakfast went really well. 

November- hardi lunch hosted by 4th graders

December- Cookie bar provided by 3rd graders

Going through coffee like crazy.  Trying to get the numbers correct and aksing for classes to donate. 

Outreach- Sara

Haven’t done much recently but thinking about events that we’re already doing more welcoming and outreach oriented. 

For Literacy night we want to make it obvious that it’s a PTA event and recruit people that we would not otherwise reach.   

Also thinking about doing some kind of coffee meetup -do you want to get involved with being on the board?  Morning or evening?  Will be after the first of the year.  

We should have a PTA table at all events.  

What is the plan for Helping Hands this year?  They asked about this at our principal check in.  It is a gift card collection drive for families in need in the Whittier community.  

Target, Fred Meyer, Safeway and the goal is between $1-$2k in gift cards.  

Volunteers- Mendy

Mr. Collins does not have a room rep. Kathleen and Courtney will reach out to Natalie.  

Amazon wish lists and teacher surveys.  Mendy has them and will send out to room parents.  

Tina populated the room parent email so all room parents will receive.  

Mendy also has a master volunteering list for anyone who needs it.  

Next year at first meeting we should have more training for each of the board positions.  

11/15- Special Ed PTSA: Kids Do Well if They Can

12/1- Book fair/ Literacy Night

12/2- First Friday

12/8- EDI FOCS follow-up

12/13 Board Meeting

12/15 EDI Meeting

1/10 Board Meeting

1/17 Community Meeting


Gifts for staff members- Need to have more of a conversation about how we do gifts for staff if we group together again.  Mendy will send language to room parents.  

Meeting Adjourned 9:11  pm

Community Meeting Minutes: 10/11/22

Whittier PTA Community Meeting

October 11, 2022

  • 7:00pm via ZOOM
  • Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022
  • Passcode: wildcats


  • Leah Lansberry Austin
  • Jared Cortese – Co Secretary
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Kellie Pecoraro – Adviser/Support
  • Emily Grosse – Hospitality and Events
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Kate Scher – Communications Chair
  • Tina Lilley – Adviser/Support/Spirit Gear/Website
  • Mendy Minjarez – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Renee Hartnett – Treasurer
  • Glenda Elley – Fundraiser Co-Chair
  • Megan Wildenradt – Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Emily Barbee – Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Cindy Waters – Principal
  • Susan Hernandez, EDI Co-chair
  • Melissa O’Keefe – EDI Co-chair
  • Lauren Carey- EDI Committee Member
  • Ashley Schiavone 
  • Sarah Lukas – Outreach Chair


  • Julie Osborn
  • Anna Hume, PTA member
  • Rachel Wold
  • Kate Scales
  • Sven Hertens
  • Brianna Mercker
  • Geyer Family
  • Ho Joon
  • Joa Pope
  • Laura McLaughlin
  • Angela Navarro
  • Bonnie
  • Jennifer Foreman
  • Laura Wadsack
  • Brian Tracy

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:05 PM



Grateful for the strong launch.  a lot of fun at the move-a-thon and feels like we have a strong connection with families, especially after a wonky start.  

Week 4 of school.  Kids are getting into their routines.  Continuing to have lunch outside for half the scholars.  


Looking forward to the Taproot Theater Company coming to perform a play this week.  

Trying to do many events at school because transportation costs are prohibitive.  $250 for school bus and charter is $350/ hour.  

Other events- 5th avenue theater coming in april.  Talking to the opera for bilingual opera

Reptile guy

Science on Wheels

SPU hosting NCAA division championships- athlete visits

Or walking opportunities

What about inclusivity for these activities?  Two assemblies to limit the number of scholars and make it more accessible for all.  Massive monkeys will provide a smaller interaction for specialist groups.  

PTA support and how that impacts the school 

As a tier 4 school we are funded at a lower rate than a tier 1 school.  Perceived needs of the school is different.  This year our nurse was reduced from 2 full days to 1.5 days and staff decided to use discretionary dollars to fund the other half day of nurse.  

PTA funds a .5 of a specialist so all kids have specialist time every day.  

Our kids need reading support which is the bulk of what Cindy asks the PTA to pay for.  Whittier also has a grant for reading support

Our PTA will fund Amazon classroom wish lists and other school needs.  The PTA is a backup. 

Leah- This is also so our teachers have a full time job which is why we try to get all of our specialists to full time or full days.


Can we make this information viewable for all families?  Glenda Ellen

  • Kellie P. answered that we typically make recordings available for families to view the meeting. 

What is the max enrollment for Whittier?  Lauren Carey

  • Right size enrollment is about 65-75 per grade level which is about 3 classes per grade.

There’s a new social worker, Ms. Lauren, who is at our school 7:30-11 in the morning and then drives to Magnolia for the afternoon.  Next ask would be for a full time social worker.  Cindy has enough work for (2) full time social workers.     

Whittier tries to be super good stewards of all PTA money.  Have recently purchased resources for spelling in 3-5th grade and a book series with full curriculum for diversity.  

Advocacy-  SPS needs to send a minimum a school needs to operate.  For example, this year Whittier doesn’t have an AP and should.  Then secured Special Ed staffing sept 6th and more IAP staffing (56 kids require IAPs).   This should have triggered an AP.  Would be extremely helpful to have a minimum amount of funding to resolve issues such as these.    

Calendar Updates

The revised calendar has come out and is being voted on tomorrow by the Board.  Whittier is not adjusting end of year celebrations, which will occur the week(s) before school gets out.  Such as field day, 5th grade promotion and 5th grade 

Overview of Building Leadership Team (BLT)– governing body for the school.  Meets once a month and talks about school improvement plan, conference schedule, things that need to be voted on contractually, school wide things that are happening, forum for staff input.  Collaborative team.  

Volunteer training–  Everyone please go through it so when something comes up you can do it.   

Board Updates: Vote to appoint Co-Secretaries Jared Cortese and Jess Templeton

New Website:  subscribe to calendar.  Also has the lunch menu and link to Whittier spirit gear. 

Teacher’s lounge Makeover:   Rallied around sourcing from buy nothing/ Amazon wishlist.  Teachers have been so appreciative of it.  They actually meet there and eat lunch there and it’s fostered more camaraderie.  

Wildcat Spirit Fence:  Something that Cindy asked for last summer.  

Reflections Art Contest:  Nationwide contest.  We need someone who can drive this this year.  It is all set up but it needs a champion who can organize, then a couple of people who can review submissions.  

Have many different categories students could choose from.  

Champion would work with Cindy and the office to get the word out.  


Running Volunteer List:  Folks that put their names on it at back to business and curriculum nights

Encourage reaching out to others who may be interested. 

If you need volunteers Mendy can send names to you.  

Mr. Province’s class does not have a room parent.  Help find one!

For special education classes it is different this year.  Previously there have not been room parents in these classrooms but are trying to best represent and include these classrooms.  

Focus and Access are programs and there is a resource classroom.  Really depends on the needs of the students and kids.  Provides more support for kids that have IAPs and 504 plans.  

Cindy has provided a presentation in the past about these programs which may be more helpful.  Access to specialists is a big deal.  

Ask Cindy to present this slide show at the next meeting.  

Room reps allows for representation of these classrooms.  

Current Needs: 

Reflections art program

Programs chair



email volunteer to be put on the list to volunteer or for any other inquiries

Nominating Committee Update:  This is a committee that identifies folks for positions next year.  This is a formal committee and will be voted on at the end of the meeting.  This committee recommends who will be next year’s Executive Board.  The Community will vote in next year’s PTA board in May of this year.  

Proposed Members: Susan Hernandez, Courtney Sievers, Mendy Minjarez, Joa Pope


September Budget Reports: $166k in the bank, and we get our money from the fundraisers.  A big piece of fundraising is employer matching.  Also get passive funding from Amazon Smile, etc.  

To date we have income trickling in from annual give and move- a -thon. 

Expenses year to date:  Insurance processed, quickbooks account, kindergarten pizza party, EDI training for Board members and staff, putting on an assembly later this week.  

Proposed updates for 2022-23 budget

This is to right size our budget that need to be added back into our budget post covid.  

  • Update Whittier Support Grant to cover Q4 2021-22 and Q1-3 of 2022-23= $77,299.67
  • Increase Outreach budget by $710 for incoming Kindergarten pizza event
  • Increase staff appreciation by $1000 for staff lounge updates
  • Increase web hosting $20
  • Increase Konstella budget $350
  • Increase President’s budget for zoom by $200
  • Increase hospitality budget by $200
  • Increase awards budget by $100 to cover plaque/ engraving costs

Total Expenses increase by $4,679.  

Lauren Carey asked a  question about EDI budget training.  It is one of the largest budget items at $4500.  There is still $2000 left to spend. Lauren asking if any of the EDI money is restricted.  

Process for Money to come out-  need invoice to write a check or executed contract.  


Annual give has 44 donations with a total of 14k so far

Move-a-thon $21k

Goal is $90k between the two.  

Support Whittier PTA while you shop

Amazon smile and Fred Meyer


Friday, October 28th from 4:30-7

No tickets necessary, just show up

Games and activities: pumpkin decorating, apple toss, face painting, candy corn toss, pumpkin run, cake walk and photo booth.  

Move inside after dark for the Monster Mash DJ’d by Ms. Steph

Costumes are welcome but not required

Inclusive because it is more relaxed.  

Will have some food available for sale: Corn dog combo, Popcorn & Cotton Candy machine

Not meant to be a fundraiser, meant to be a net zero event.  Going to make money back by food purchase and a raffle.  


Executive Committee: 

Leah moved to approve the following: 

We, the Whittier General Membership, approve Secretaries, Jared Cortese & Jess Templeton to serve on the PTA Executive Committee for 2022-23.

Renee Seconded the motion. 


2022-23 Budget:

Courtney Sievers, moved to approve the revisions to the 22-23 Whittier PTA budget revisions

Jared seconded the motion. 


Nominating Committee: 

Kate moved to approve the individuals listed for the Nom  Comm

Anna seconded the motion


Approval of Standing Rules to include 

Leah Motioned to approve. 

Courtney Seconded 

4.4 Addition of member at large position to the Board

6.2 Updates to fiscal year budgets.  



Melissa O’Keefe & Emily Barbee

Focus this year:  community education, engagement, communication and advocacy

Will have an EDI section in the Wildchat every issue.  

Currently reviewing an equity assessment that was done a few years ago for the PTA and we will be implementing this year.  


Communications: Join Konstella & grade-level FB group

Advocacy: Megan Going to the legislative assembly this weekend and will meet up with nearby elementary and middle schools

Working on getting legislators and school board members to visit the PTA throughout the year

Supporting the work of the EDI committee

Outreach (Sarah Lukas):  Going to host a kindergarten coffee date soon

Events (Emily Grosse): First fridays.  Behind the scenes is third Thursday staff appreciation. Thank you to 5th grade parents for contributing to this month.  

Membership:  We are at a total of 109 PTA members, 4 staff for a total of 113.  

To have afterschool programming we need a chair. If interested, reach out to Kate or Mendy.  

Meeting Adjourned 9:03 pm

Board Meeting Minutes: 9/20/22


  • Leah Lansberry Austin
  • Jared Cortese – Co Secretary
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Kellie Pecoraro – Adviser/Support
  • Megan Herscher – Community Member
  • Kathleen Donahoe – Co Hospitality and Events
  • Emily Grosse – Hospitality and Events
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Kate Scher – Communications Chair
  • Susan Hernandez – EDI Co Chair
  • Tina Lilley – Adviser/Support/Spirit Gear/Website
  • Mendy Minjarez – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Katie Lyden – Move-a-thon
  • Renee Hartnett – Treasurer
  • Glenda Elley – Fundraiser Co-Chair
  • Trisha Schalekamp – Membership
  • Sara Lukas – Outreach Chair
  • Jared Ogle – 4th Grade Teacher
  • Megan Wildenradt – Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Emily Barbee – Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Cindy Waters – Principal


  • Jill – Community Member
  • Rachel Wold – Community Member


Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:05 PM

Each attendee introduced themselves, who their children are, their position, and what their favorite karaoke song is. 


  • Thank you for your support during contract negotiations and for getting students back to school on Wednesday
  • Thank you for the update on the staff lounge
  • Excited for more volunteers to have access into the building this year 
  • Excited about the Amazon wish list for teachers


  • Thank you for the updated staff lounge
    • Many more people are using it this year
  • We don’t  know the calendar yet, due to the missed days from the teacher’s strike
    • We are going to start with mid-winter break 
    • Ok if students miss days because of vacation, kids will have the opportunity to catch up
    • Won’t be a lot of work scheduled during added days
  • We are allowing a lot more volunteers in the school this year
    • Looking for really specific tasks for volunteers
      • Ex. 1st Grade and Kindergarten need help to set up Ipads, reach out to teachers if you have time
  • Great start to the school year
    • Currently only allowing students to enter the property on 13th Ave. NW
      • Not enough staff members to have the 14th Ave. NW entrance open right now
      • Would rather have staff in the building getting ready for the day
      • Principal Waters will announce any changes as they happen throughout the school year
  • We’re looking forward to getting back to in-person events
    • Some families will be experiencing Whittier Events for the first time
    • Curriculum Night – This Thursday, September 22nd is our first in-person event
      • Parents will get to find out what their children’s experience is like during the day
      • Tour of their classroom, introduce to their teacher, see their desk, and see all teachers and staff in scholar’s life
  • Amazon wish lists for teachers will be up and running soon

Questions for Principal Waters

Q: What is Whittier doing to try and keep students COVID safe?

  • If a student is ill, please stay home
  • If a student has been exposed, pleased wear a mask
  • Continuing having two lunch spaces –  one grade level eating indoors, one grade level eating outdoors (continuing through the school year)
  • Some students are still choosing to use masks and test at home
  • Many staff are still keeping windows open 
  • Still using HEPA  filters
  • Whittier is in a high vaccine area

Q: Where do we find the Amazon Wishlist?

  • It will be on the PTA website in the next week
  • Some teachers are still figuring out what they need 

Q: How are we feeling about Move-a-thon being in the fall this year?

  • Cindy is excited and happy that it is happening early this year. It is a great community-building event. We are ready!

Q: How many staff have keys to the gate on 14th Ave.?

  • Lots of teachers have keys. 
  • The concern is kids are  getting impatient and climbing the fence when the gate is locked
  • Principal Waters doesn’t like to tell kids what they can’t do, but wants to tell kids what they can do safely to solve the problem


  • Jess Templeton and Jared Cortese have been voted in as Co-Secretaries
  • We are going to try and do some in-person meetings this year
    • PTA will let people know when
  • Agendas will be on the Whittier PTA website the Friday before board meetings
  • Next meeting will be a community meeting on October 11
    • Vote in exec committee chairs
    • Vote nominating committee
    • Vote on standing rules
  • Slide Show 
  • Examples of how PTA Funds have recently been used
  • Updates to the teacher’s lounge
  • Spirit Fence Project – 5000 cups 
  • PTA Website available online
  • You can link to your google calendar to get updates
  • Lunch menus
  • Spirit gear
  • News links
  • Spirit Gear
    • New spirit gear on website
    • To order go to the website and  fill out the form. Orders will be directly shipped to the customer
    • More designs coming!
      • Evergreen w/ the original logo 
      • PTA-sponsored designs 
  • Reflections art contest
    • Each school can participate
    • Many categories, all students can submit for any category they want
    • This year’s theme is “Show Your Voice”
    • PTA still needs to set a deadline for submissions
  • We currently need volunteers for the art submission committee to choose finalists
  • If questions, Emily Grosse is happy to be a resource


  • After School Enrichment Programs
  • PTAs and other groups are now allowed to access the school again for Programs
  • More structured than pre-Covid
  • The Whiitier has communicated a desire for after-school programs, and that they  consider these programs are essential
  • Goals for after school programs
    1. Offer opportunities for student socialization for grade level peers and cross-grade
    2. Offer positive experiences after school
  • Program Guidelines
    1. Accessible and low barrier
    2. Sustainable budget
    3. Inclusive
  • We need a volunteer to be Program Chair, Kate Scher can advise and guide

Questions For Kate

Q: Do teachers have a desire for Programs

  • SPS has provided significant barriers for teachers to participate
  • If teachers do participate they need a business license


  • Still getting money from last year’s annual give
  • We currently have close to $170,000 in our account
  • Suggested changes for this current year’s fiscal budget
    • Update Whittier Support Grant to cover Q4 2021-22 and Q1-3 of 2022-23 = $77,299.67
    • Add $710 to Outreach budget for the incoming Kindergarten pizza event (have had in the past pre-Covid)
    • $100 to Staff appreciation for staff lounge updates
    • Increase web hosting to $220 (moved to new platform this year)
    • Increase Konstella budget to $350 (previous budget was a guesstimate)
    • Add $200 to President’s budget for Zoom Increase Hospitality budget by $200 for increased expenses
    • Add $100 to awards to cover plaque/engraving costs
  • Total expenses increased by $4679.67
  • Will need to include $25K in staffing for Q4 2022-23 in the 2023-24 budget

Questions For Renee

Q: Could you explain why we need to add the previous years Q4 into the current budget? 

  • When PTA gets invoice from SPS, we can’t pay right away with our staffing grant because our fiscal year is different from SPS’s. PTA has to pay it over two years

Q: Why are we now paying for Konstella when we previously had a free version?

  • Free version no longer available

Q: Who pays for our Zoom account, and how do different departments use Zoom without having to pay for a separate account?

  • Connect with Leah, and she will send you a link
  • Maybe we will migrate the communal Zoom over to the support account

Q: Will Cindy need more money for the 2022-23 staffing grant?

  • She has already said no

MOTION: Leah motioned to approve changes to 2022-23 budget

VOTE: Yes 17 , No  0, Abstain 0 – motion passed


  • Fall Fundraising Goal ($90k or $250 per student)
  • Annual Give – 10/05 – 10/31
    • Upping the award for the next category to $250
    • Asking each student to give $250
    • Trying to reach out to employers to match donations 
    • PInts for Purpose
    • Move-a-thon

Questions For/From Fundraising

Q: To the Board from Glenda (Fundraising) – Are we able to publish where the staffing grant specifically goes? 

  • No, but we can say:
    • flexible staffing grant and service
  • Positions such as these are not fully funded and a flexible staffing grant helps us fund positions such as these

Follow up from Glenda: 

  • Any informant will help the fundraising team to educate younger families
  • A list of the roles that aren’t fully funded would be helpful



  • Check out the Whittier PTA Website for all information and messages from PTA
  • Join Konstella: Konstella calendar = Google calendar (on website) – link your calendar using either system
  • Join grade-level FB group – if you are a new parent go to the connect tab
    • Get to know the people in your community beyond your grade level
  • Wildchat will be sent to you
    • If you have an idea for an event or an article send to Kate
  • If you want to be a co-communication chair see Kate
  • Informal discussion about shared drives amongst board members
  • First step was to make sure everyone was using the Whittier Group Drive instead of personal accounts
  • Next step is to figure out how to organize all the documents from the different roles
    • Use Shared Drives instead of My Drives so that other PTA members can view?
  • Community Access is the only folder that is public-facing


  • Be one of Whittier’s voting delegates at WSPTA Legislative Assembly (Oct. 23-24)
  • The district is severely underfunded, so we will be asking the state why is public education so underfunded


  • Working with the 1st grade teachers on pilot to helping neuro diverse students
  • Currently trying to figure out how to continue EDI training, for staff and PTA volunteers
  • Building affinity group
    • More to come at next board meeting


  • Popsicle party over the summer
  • Pizza party, parents couldn’t come but good community building event for Kindergarteners
  • Had to cancel 1st day of school event, coffee for Kindergarten parents
    • Coffee event is rescheduled for Friday September 30th


  • Annual Give
  • 10/5 Pints for Purpose @WheeliePop
  • 10/7 First Friday Fun (Same day as Move-A-Thon
  • Staff Appreciation every 3rd Thursday – 5th Grade first
  • 10/28 Fall Carnival
    • Not as Halloween-oriented as years passed
    • More low key than in the past few years
    • 95% outdoors, bathrooms available indoors 
    • Looking at a 4:30 PM or 5:00 Pm start time
  • We will have volunteer sign ups at Curriculum night


  • Total Memberships: 88
  • 85 PTA Members
  • 3 Staff Members
  • Let Tricia know if anyone needs to have their membership updated

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Co President/VP/Communications Co-Chair needed
  • We really need people to sign up for committees
    • Nominating Committee (vote to approve @ Oct. 11 Community Meeting)
    • Fall Carnival Committee
    • Reflections Art Contest Committee
  • We need a Programs Chair
    • Won’t have After School Programs is no one signs up
  • We need a Support Co-Chair
    • Can be done from home
  • Room Reps sign-up going well
  • Be one of Whittier’s voting delegates at WSPTA Legislative
  • General volunteer list has been started
    • Currently 23 people on that list
    • Mendy will connect with Tina on how best to support and connect volunteers to events
  • Next meeting: Community Meeting October 18th

Questions for Chairs

Q: To the Board from Susan (EDI) –  How can we incorporate EDI into room reps with the training they have, so all events and programming have an EDI lens? 

  • Will consider over coming weeks

Q: To Susan from Mindy (Volunteer) – What is the best approach for Access and Focus class so their families feel included?

  • Should there be room reps for the access and focus classrooms?
    • This would be an easy way for families to get involved
  • Please copy EDI on emails so they can help

Meeting Adjourned at 9:05 PM


Next Community Meeting Tues, Oct. 11; Next Board Meeting, November 8th

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – March 8, 2022

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

March 8, 2022

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

ZOOM Meeting

Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022  Passcode: wildcats


  1. Kristen Ramer Liang
  2. Tina Lilley
  3. Anna Hume
  4. Kathleen Donahoe
  5. Tricia Schalekamp
  6. Renee Hartnett
  7. Kate Scher
  8. Kate Mathews
  9. Kellie Pecoraro
  10. Courtney Sievers
  11. Megan Wildenradt
  12. Leah Lansberry-Austin
  13. Sara Lukas
  14. Sandra Klay
  15. Cindy Watters
  16. Emma Kocher
  17. Julia Liang

7:04    Meeting Called to Order, Approval of February Board Meeting Minutes

Kathleen motioned, Courtney seconded – Meeting minutes approved. (vote was at 8:46 pm)

Land Acknowledgement by Kristen Liang

7:05    Staff Update 

7:15    Principal Update

  • Student Guest Speakers – Emma Kocher & Julia Liang
  • EMMA – 5th Grade Celebration
    • 5th grade classes could take a day off to go to a park, have pizza & play games
    • Stay at school – all 3 classes could have different activities ie; movies, arts & crafts, games
    • Parks – salmon bay, carkeek, Kirke – going somewhere because then the other classes won’t be there
    • Emma is happy to be on an organizing committee
  • JULIA – Bathrooms, Library – non-fiction books, Food Quality at Lunch
    • Bathrooms – toilets should have seat covers to be more sanitary (flushable covers)
    • Library – Doesn’t have a lot of diversity, especially about people. For example, people who helped make our community the way it is now.
      • (Cindy posed question:  How we could get more diverse books?) A:  School families could donate books about certain topics
    • School Lunches – The food should be better quality.
      • Half of the pasta wasn’t cooked in one of the lunches. Food is soggy and they don’t want to touch it. 
  • (Cindy Question: How could we make the food better?)  A:  Food is in a freezer and heated up in a microwave… they should check it to make sure it’s fully cooked 
  • Julia agreed to be on a Food Service Committee
    • No update tonight, but she has a meeting tomorrow about masking. Her hunch/best guess  is that SPS will probably follow what other schools in the general area are doing with masks. 
    • Masks are included in the MOU (memorandum of understanding). Cindy doesn’t think it requires a vote, but she thinks that it is just agreement between leadership teams
  • BUDGET – not great, not horrible
    • Down 1 homeroom teacher
    • She’s working on getting universal intervention support… She thinks it’s inequitable to not have the same support available to Whittier as other schools in this department. 
    • Prides of March – loosely organized but hoping it’ll be better next year
    • Cindy wants to support “safe conversations” Kids are picking up on current events… Russia/Ukraine, LGTBQ issues
    • Spirit Days – low barrier to participation, no purchases for these days, something you don’t really have to plan for – No heavy lifts! 
    • Door decorating at the end of the month! Parents will be able to help, but 80% of the door will be done by the kids. Doors will show who the classroom is as a community.

7:30    President’s Report – Kristen & Tina

  • 3/15 Community Meeting (platform, presentation, member voting)
  • Spring Fling Update – Sandra
    • Great committee, about 15 volunteers who are rocking & rolling
    • 5-9 pm, no kids – set-up/tear-down earlier/later than that window
    • We can use the blacktop and the gym – will be using it for 
    • Food Truck – Dantes – hot dogs, Veraci – Pizza
    • There will be drinking – out on the street. No alcohol on school premises
    • Games – Corn Hole, other outdoor games
    • Sandra has a permit – WA State liquor & cannabis board, will also get block party permit
      • Planning to let neighbors know that the event will be happening
    • Expenses – Minimal – trying to use things from school.. ie;  tables, canopies from family
    • Decor Team
    • Standing meeting 7-9 pm 
    • Special Guest DJ might be a possibility… 
    • Procurement – Elliott has been doing an amazing job. He’s contacted 88 businesses. Mix of printed emails, online forms too. 6 donations so far, but many more coming. 20 more in-person drops planned for this week.
  • Virtual School Tours Update – Megan, Sara, Tricia
    • Good turnout for the virtual tours
  • Room Rep Emails – Kate
    • Wants us to consolidate requests via her so we don’t overwhelm room reps

7:50    Treasurer’s Report – Renee

  • Budget Update (February reports): Balance Sheet, Budget vs Actuals, Profit & Loss
  • Budget Survey Update
    • 166 responses
    • Interest in funding staffing 89%
    • Funding equity initiatives 72%
      • People like specific
    • Funding various PTA initiatives priority in survey results
      • enrichment activities 
      • academic enrichment 
      • equity 
      • field trips 
      • community events
  • Budget Committee Update
    • budget numbers from district are not good
  • Staffing Grant Request for 2022/23
    • 2.5 PCP funded next year (vs 3 for this year)
    • staffing 90K – this keeps it so we retain staffing levels of reading specialists and PCP
    • Reading Interventionist serves a larger group of students than any homeroom teachers
    • Kathleen asked what happens if we don’t make fundraising numbers. Renee said fundraising forecasts are pretty conservative and that people want to know what they need to give.
    • Another comment was made that we need to continue/increase advocacy efforts to change the way things are funded… “BOTH/AND” re: Fundraising and Advocacy
  • VOTE – Courtney motioned to put a $90K staffing grant up for approval at the Community Meeting; Kathleen seconded 

8:10    Nominating Committee Update – Leah

  • Received responses from half of the board
  • Still need more people to get involved
  • Talked about bringing FACE (Family and Community Engagement) committee efforts back

8:20      Chair Reports

9:04    Meeting Adjourned

Social hour (if you are able to join) via Zoom

Reminder of Upcoming Dates:

3/15 Spring PTA Community Meeting

3/24 EDI Committee Meeting

4/11-4/15 Spring Break (NO SCHOOL)

4/19 Monthly PTA Board Meeting

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – February 8, 2022

7:00 pm via ZOOM

Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022

Passcode: wildcats



  1. Kristen Ramer Liang
  2. Tina Lilley
  3. Kate Scher
  4. Megan Wildenradt
  5. Kathleen Donahoe
  6. Anna Hume
  7. Kellie Pecoraro
  8. Sara Lukas
  9. Renee Hartnett
  10. Tricia Schalekamp
  11. Leah Lansberry Austin
  12. Kate Mathews
  13. Courtney Sievers


  1. Cindy Watters
  2. Susan Hernandez
  3. Liz Young
  4. Sandra Klay
  5. Anjean Bosch
  6. Erika Morales
  7. Allison Parker
  8. Erin Drury SCPTA 

7:00    Meeting Called to Order, Land Acknowledgement

7:10 Guest Speaker:  Erin Dury,  Seattle Council PTSA 

  • Discussion on how SPS is funded, how our PTA dollars impact and affect the funding, and what all this means for your school and your PTA.
  • 105 schools 
  • 90 have PTA (Parent Teacher Association) or PTO (Parent Teacher Organization)
  • PTAs advocate for the adequate funding of schools from governmental sources. They do not replace funds not supplied by governments.
  • Fundraising is not the primary purpose of a PTA

Take Back Resolution (2019)  

  • Fundraising exacerbates critical inequities in our system
  • 2018-19 PTA fundraising numbers in Seattle
    • Per school $0 – $455, 561
    • Per student $0 – 1,394
  • Seattle PTSA is supporting #TakeBackPTA

Cindy Watters pointed out that some schools get more LAP (discretionary) dollars per student than others and lots of PTA funding is making up for that to help students whose families  might be less financially stable than their “wealthy” neighborhoods. 

Tricia Schalekamp added via chat: Cindy’s comment (data from SPS site) 2021-2022 Lap Funding is $24,492 for Northgate & $12,816 for Whittier

PTA/PTO Revenue per student (‘18-’19)

  • North $323
  • Central $282
  • West $286
  • Southeast $67

Most fundraising happens in the North and West areas of SPS. Strong correlation between those areas and the historic redlining activities that happened.

SCPTSA looking for people who want to have a conversation with the Seattle Public Schools in the Take Back conversation & school funding policies.

Most fundraising happens in the North and West areas of SPS. Strong correlation between those areas and the historic redlining activities that happened.

SE Coalition is still seeking funds… they may do an equal distribution of funds this year, or they may do more of a equity based distribution (ie; free/reduced lunch #s)

Tina asked what the $14K was used for… just to know what types of needs the SE schools have. Masks, library books, water bottles

You may contact Erin here if you would like more info/have questions.

7:40 Presidents Update/Housekeeping (Kristen/Tina/Leah)

  • Approval of January Board Meeting Minutes – passed
  • PTA Community Meeting 3/15 – critical staffing budget requests and vote
  • Nominating Committee Update (Leah) – 1st mtg this week, more updates next month

7:50    Principal & Staff Updates (Cindy)

  • Budget Preview
    • Schools never have enough money
    • Enrollment projections – we think we will be down about 38 students – 80 – 5th graders moving on, 72 Kindergarteners projected to come, plus attrition
      • Megan asked if legislation passes to use 2019 enrollment numbers, if that will help us. Cindy said maybe because it might be used to cover for this year
    • We expect to get budget from the district on 2/28
    • COVID $ from government is paying for playground supervision, Katie Dahlen 
    • We are paying Nurse Marissa extra to help with contact tracing
    • Cindy offered to have a bigger conversation about budgeting if anyone is interested
    • Kathleen asked if we’ll get more COVID relief money next year. Cindy said we don’t know
      • Kate S added via chat: “ESSER III dollars currently end on 9/30/22 and there’s no public discussion of it renewing again that I’ve found”

Tina asked about BLT meeting… meeting just happened. Starting to discuss who is staying/leaving. Teachers are torn about PTA funding… they LOVE having a reading specialist (Ms Trilby) 

  • Black Lives Matter Recap
    • Great week 
    • Cindy complimented the teachers – thoughtful & intentional, especially about BLM. They cultivate curiosity daily and are doing a great job!
    • Another bulletin board made by Ms Mayo to highlight BLM.
    • BLM week started in Seattle.
    • Lays the foundation for kids to be thinkers and future leaders/activists/voters/disrupters
  • Prides of March Drive
    • Partner with Tent City 3 at Phinney Lutheran Church, sanctioned tent city – 
    • Starting 6th/7th of March
    • Each week is different theme with different grades helping to organize what we’re collecting and why
    • Student ambassadors to collect items 
    • She’d like to partner with PTA to collect items
    • Tying to virtues of compassion and kindness
    • She plans to build in some spirit days too
  • Kristen brought up the book drive to diversify our library books – Cindy would like to still do it.

Kathleen asked for COVID update 

  • LESS covid! Enough of a drop that we can resume vision/hearing screening
  • District says 2/7 in-person audiences for secondary schools will be ok, so maybe in March we can resume singing indoors (with masks)

Susan thanked Cindy for getting the IA positions at Whittier

8:10    Treasurer’s Report

$128K up $8K from Annual Give  

Biggest expense was $3K for IXL

8:30 Chair Reports

  • Spring Fling (Sandra)
    • Meeting tomorrow night for Spring Fling
    • Procurement
  • Membership – Silver Membership Award! 
    • 102% membership over last year
    • Achievement of the Silver Membership Award indicates your PTA has enrolled members equaling at least 105% of your PTA’s total membership last year. 

8:45    Meeting Adjourned

Social hour (if you are able to join) via Zoom

Reminder of Upcoming Dates:

2/8, 2/10 Virtual School Tours – 2/8 9am, 2/10 6:30pm

2/21 – 2/25 NO SCHOOL (Mid-Winter Break)

3/8 March PTA Board Meeting

3/15 March PTA Community Meeting

PTA Board Meeting Minutes – January 11, 2022

7:00 pm via ZOOM

Meeting called to order at 7:03pm 


Board Members

  • Tina Lilley
  • Kristen Liang
  • Amy Bryan
  • Anna Hume
  • Kate Scher
  • Megan Wildenradt
  • Renee Harnett
  • Tricia Schalekamp
  • Kathleen Donahoe
  • Sara Lukas
  • Kellie Pecoraro
  • Brad Nelson
  • Leah Lansberry-Austin
  • Courtney Sievers
  • Kate Mathews
  • Todd Simonson

Non-Board Community Members

  • Reid Mathews – student 
  • Kendall Scales – student
  • Lyn Visick – student
  • Cindy Watters = Principal
  • An-Lon Chen
  • Sandy Hawley
  • Will Kruse
  • Susan Hernandez
  • Ashley Schiavone
  • Charlie Cartwright
  • Jon Overman

7:00      Meeting Called to Order, Land Acknowledgement – read by Lyn Visick

7:10     Whittier Student Updates: Reid Mathews, Kendall Scales, Lyn Visick

Reid Mathews – Mr. Collin’s Class –  This year is better than the last couple we had. Stronger connection between teachers & students. He wants to make it more comfortable for the younger students at Whittier. 

Kendall Scales – Ms Childers Class – Wants to add unscented hand moisturizer. She likes that 4th/5th graders get to be helpful and she would also like to have more opportunities to help. 

Lyn Visick – Mr. Keener’s Class – Likes that there are more gender neutral bathrooms available. He would like to help people understand gender and individual bathroom choice. Lyn would like to see more gender neutral spaces.

Question from Tina – What do you consider gender neutral spaces? Lyn:  Bathrooms… Cindy suggested that we remove the gender binary component ie; boys & girls lining up, clothing

Kathleen Donahoe – asked for First Friday ideas: Reid – craft projects Lyn – Book exchange

7:25     Presidents Update/Housekeeping (Kristen/Tina)

Renee motioned to approve both November and December meeting minutes, Tricia seconded.

❖    Approval of November 2021 Meeting Minutes         –  APPROVED

❖    Approval of December 2021 Meeting Minutes          – APPROVED

❖    Opportunities:

➢    Virtual School Tours, 2/8 @ 9am, 2/10 @ 6:30pm

■      2/8  – Sara & Megan 

■      2/10 – Tricia & Megan

■      Suggestion from Susan – to provide special education information so people don’t have to solicit/ask questions about it

➢    Yearbook Club (Tracy)  

■      Looking for help with layout/formatting

➢    Family Directory (Amy/Todd)

■      Looking for a way to compile a school directory

■      Anna – suggested we send out a DID YOU KNOW that Konstella can be a way to connect? 

■      An-Lon mentioned that What’s App can be a super good tool, so maybe we pitch it that way

➢    March Food/Book Drive – Need some leadership for the food drive

■      Cindy – each week could be a different type of drive – ie; sock drive, food drive, book drive

■      She really wants the kids to help own the community aspect of it. Parents can help connect to the network. 

■      Sandy Hawley – suggested this shelter

❖    Funding Proposals:

➢    Recess Supervisions

■      Want bright yellow jackets for recess supervisors. Could be used for field trip chaperones in the future. Same type of jacket that Safety Patrol uses. Cindy would like 10 in various sizes. 

■      ~ $400 (10 x $30 each)

➢    Wildcat Spirit Fence Art –

■      Fence art would be about $2000

■      It would liven up the fence, be a focal point and show of school spirit. 

■      Volunteer opportunity for parents

Amy Bryan motioned to approve safety vests, Anna & Kristen seconded the motion. – PASSED

Board to review the Fence Art funding proposal. Perhaps the community can be involved in deciding what the art looks like. 

7:30      Principal & Staff Updates (Cindy)

COVID – we have had cases at school. Nurse Marissa has been amazing and has done contact tracing, notifying people of exposures, and has been our resident “HEALTH EXPERT”

Exposures in 3 classrooms, but only 5 kids needed to be quarantined. IF KIDS ARE VACCINATED, they don’t have to be quarantined! We have a fantastic vaccination at Whittier which is helping with minimal quarantines. We will monitor for symptoms and provide tests when needed to exposed kids. 

Remote Learning – Whittier is ready to transition kids to remote learning within 2 hours. Laptops/ipads won’t be sent home unless it’s absolutely necessary. 

Q: She’s heard that schools are running out of rapid tests… what is our supply of tests like? 

A: We have enough antigen test for a few more weeks. We also have PCR tests. We’re being very strategic with timing of testing… waiting for 5 days 

Q: Are we following CDC guidance of positive test but only 5 day quarantine

A: We are strongly encouraging 7 day quarantine

Whittier is approaching 90% vaccination rate with our students, and we’re taking a very hard stance on quarantining non-vaccinated students. (Vax rate is figured out by Nurse Marissa checking the state database and counting.)

Re:  Teachers who are positive, they are also being handled on a case by case basis with close guidance from Nurse Marissa.


A:  They are feeling like a lot of us, a little anxious but they don’t want remote learning too. They are AMAZING. Little acknowledgements make a big difference! Coffee, notes… anything that says “We see you, we know how hard you’re working”

Every staff member felt seen after the holiday gifts

NEW STAFF MEMBER – new K teacher Lola O’Rourke 

Cindy is hopeful that clubs can start happening soon. – Yearbook club, Newspaper Club starting – 1st newspaper coming out in a few weeks

Mask Drive – she has enough to give 1 to each teacher/staff for now  50 total staff (18 teachers)  – if you can, please purchase masks for the community.

Q:  Do we need to fill out the covid test permission form that SPS sent out? A: NO

Q: I heard from a friend at a neighboring school that they are blanket testing. Are we blanket testing? A: No

7:50      Treasurer’s Report

  • Budget Update (December reports): Balance SheetBudget vs ActualsProfit & Loss
  • Budget Survey (release Jan.?) & Town Hall (Community Meeting) Overview (Jan. 18)

  • Everything looking good budget wise. Largest expense was the staffing expense
  • Need volunteers for the Budget Committee – work to start up later this month
  • Renee wants to do a budget survey 

8:10      Nominating Committee – Vote Needed to Approve Members

8:15      Chair Reports 

❖    Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

➢    Black Lives Matter at School Week, 2/7 – 2/11

❖    Legislative Update

MEGAN – Voting deadline is 2/8

➢    Vote to endorse levies/

➢    VOTE #1 – Motion – Kathleen Donahoe, Second – Sara Lukas
I (Name) motion that the (Your PTSA Name) endorse a yes vote on the Seattle Public School Proposition 1 to renew the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy vote in February 2022.

VOTE #2 Motion – Kathleen Donahoe, Second – Sara Lukas
I (Name) motion that the (Your PTSA Name) endorse a yes vote on the Seattle Public School Proposition 2 to renew the Buildings, Tech, Academics/Athletics (BTA) Levy vote in February 2022.

❖    Discussion: Does the Whittier PTA want to donate to Schools First? 

❖    Fundraising – Spring Fling update + Jog-A-Thon check-in

8:45      Meeting Adjourned / Social hour (if you are able to join) via Zoom

Adjourned at 8:55 pm

Reminder of Upcoming Dates:

1/17                 NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)

1/18                 PTA Budget Town Hall (Community Meeting)

2/7 – 2/11         Black Lives Matter at School Week

2/8                   PTA Board Meeting

2/8, 2/10          Virtual School Tours – 2/8 9am, 2/10 6:30pm

2/21 – 2/25       NO SCHOOL (Mid-Winter Break)

Notes, Reports & Resources

Thank you!

❖    Amy B. Nurse Marissa, Principal Watters – Mask Wishlist

❖    Kathleen, Courtney, Sandra, Martine – January First Friday, Winter Wishes 


❖    Standing Rules

❖    PTA Mission Statement

❖    2021-22 Budget

❖    Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolkit (for Nominating Committee)

❖    PTA meeting schedule

Chair Updates: 

❖    Communications (Kate S.)

➢    We just sent out our 7th Wildchat for the year! I’d love to get content from more board and community members. Please submit ideas (even if it’s just a couple sentences! Or a great photo!) to

➢    Our Konstella userbase has reached 660 with around 325 active members that read announcements. Committee creation on Konstella doesn’t seem to help with recruiting volunteers, though, so we may need a new approach.

➢    The PTA FB page has 169 follows + 116 likes. Our Instagram has 90 followers. Class FB groups really vary in reach and activity level. The K group, for example, has 32 members and almost no activity. The 5th grade group has 105 members and more discussion. I continue to support these pages, but note reach is low. I also can’t post across all Class FB groups in one session or the PTA FB account gets temporarily banned.

❖    EDI (Anna)

❖    Membership (Tricia)

➢    November 2021 we earned the PTA Bronze Membership Award – enrolled 1 more membership than the prior year

➢    January 2022 membership 


❖    FACE (Events/Hospitality/Outreach) (Kathleen/Courtney/Todd)

❖    Advocacy (Megan)

➢    Focus on Advocacy Week is coming up – January 17-21st. There will be a call to action each day that we will share via Konstella and social media. You can learn more here. The week kicks off with a virtual legislative day and I hope to join meetings with Reps Frame and Berry. 

➢    Levy ballots will be mailed on Jan 19th and they are due on February 8th.  There are many ways we can support this which I will be sharing info on over the next few weeks.

❖    Volunteers (Kristin)